A Brave New World – Kinder, Gentler Rallies
by Bill Hufnagle
aka Biker Billy
Over the past few years, the motorcycle marketplace has been undergoing changes, some of which concern the long-term viability of the motorcycle industry itself. One of the biggest issues facing motorcycling is the fact that we, the riding public, are getting older. This has raised concerns among both motorcycle manufacturers and event promoters. In an effort to insure a vibrant future for the motorcycling lifestyle, a sweeping set of improvements will be placed in effect this rally season. The main goal of these changes will be to introduce a new generation to riding and rallying, thereby insuring generations of future bikers.
The first major changes will be to the downtown rally scene. From Daytona to Sturgis, all major rallies have a “Main Street.” Home to day-and-night partying and profiling, it is the place to be and to be seen, and therefore it is the first place to start welcoming those next-generation riders. Here is a short list of some things you should expect to see:
Reserved Parking for Parents with Young Children: Half of each block on the rally main drag will now be reserved for minivan parking. These spots will feature curb cuts for easy stroller access, and special “Baby Biker on Board” mirror tags or license plates will be required to park there. Warning—bikes parked here will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.
Designated “Baby-Stroller-Only” Lanes on Main Street Sidewalks: These three-foot-wide lanes will be clearly marked with pink and blue lines, and they will be on the street side of the walkway so that baby has a clear view of the parked bikes and the passing parade. Warning—bikers without children walking in these reserved lanes will be ticketed by undercover officers dressed as elderly tourists.
Reserved “Family Only” Porta-Potties: These conveniently located, oversized rest stations will feature baby-changing tables, air-conditioning, sinks with hot and cold running water, antibiotic soap dispensers, and linen towels. Staffed by concierges/nannies, they will be meticulously maintained so urgent moms won’t have to hover for relief. Warning—bikers without babies will not be allowed to use these . . . everyone knows they would either leave the seat up or, worse, wet it!
Welcome Signage: Banners across Main Street will now read “Welcome Baby Bikers and Parents.” As a further morale booster for the moms and dads of the next biker generation, greeters will be placed every few feet with signs that read “Show us your Vera Bradley diaper bags” and “Breast Feeding is Natural!” Warning—bikers who display too much interest in what the baby is eating will be arrested and charged with civility violations, and possibly sex crimes.
New Open-Container Law Exemptions: While open-container laws will continue to be vigorously enforced, exemptions will be made for formula and similar beverages served in bottles and sippie-cups. Warning: bikers caught drinking alcoholic beverages out of sippie-cups will pay double fines.
Along with the warm fuzziness of the new and improved Main Street, local campgrounds and watering holes will also be participating in the “Building Future Bikers” campaign, by hosting new and improved versions of classic rally activities and games. Here is a short list of some of the highlighted events.
Leather, Lace, and Layette Swap Meet: This will be a great place to find those little vests, boots, and chains for baby while hunting up bargains on wet wipes, used strollers, and the chrome accessories for them.
UnWet Bottoms Contests: Stage shows that compare the effectiveness of diapers in keeping little bottoms dry, clean, and covered.
Formula Bar: A smoke-and-alcohol free spot for mom, dad, and baby to wet their whistles with lattes, smoothies, and, of course, a wide selection of formulas—all served at the perfect temperature.
Elmo Hunt: A new take on the classic, two-up riding game. Several couples ride in a circle around a pile of toys and children’s clothes. When the horn is blasted, the riders stop and the passengers dive into the pile to try and find the one and only remaining example of this year’s must-have Christmas toy.
Loaded Diaper Toss: Another classic, two-up riding game revisited. The passenger tosses a loaded diaper over a horizontal pole while the rider attempts to slow ride under it and avoid getting soiled.
These and many more exciting new attractions and improvements to the American rally experience will be rolled out beginning April 1, 2007. Make sure you look for them at all the events you attend and, please, let the folks pushing the strollers of progress know how much you appreciate them.
Note: These changes to your rally experience are brought to you the good folks at the Special Taskforce Undertaking Possibly Improved Demographics Producing Economic Output Profiting People Living Elsewhere, more commonly known by their combined acronym-and-mission statement: S.T.U.P.I.D. P.E.O.P.L.E.—If there is a party, we will poop on it!
Column copyright Bill Hufnagle 2007. Recipe reprinted with permission from “BIKER BILLY’S HOG WILD ON A HARLEY COOKBOOK”, published by Harvard Common Press, Boston copyright Bill Hufnagle 2003.